Welcome to the world of Hockey! If you are reading this, chances are you are already familiar with the sport or at least have a basic knowledge of it. The Habs, as they are often referred to, are one of the most iconic hockey teams in the world. With their signature blue, white, and red jerseys, they have a long-standing history and loyal fan base.
Who are The Habs hockey team? For those who don’t know, the name is a shortened version of “Les Habitants”, which is what French settlers in Montreal were called in the early days. The team has a rich history, including many legendary players, memorable moments, and fierce rivalries. In this article, we’ll explore all of that and more, so get ready to dive into the fascinating world of The Habs!
If you are a true hockey fan, or even just someone interested in learning more about one of the most legendary sports teams in the world, then keep reading. We promise to take you on a journey that will not disappoint, and by the end of this article, you will be a true Habs fan!
History of the Habs
The Montreal Canadiens, known to their fans as the Habs, are one of the oldest and most successful professional ice hockey teams in the world. The team was founded in 1909, and since then, they have won a record 24 Stanley Cup championships. The Canadiens are also the only NHL team to have won the Cup in five consecutive seasons, from 1956 to 1960.
The Habs’ early success was built on the Toronto-born forward Howie Morenz, who was considered one of the greatest hockey players of his time. Morenz won three Stanley Cups with the Canadiens in the 1920s and ’30s, but his career was cut short when he suffered a severe leg injury during a game in 193He died of complications from the injury less than two months later, at the age of 34.
The Canadiens continued to dominate in the post-World War II era, thanks in large part to the legendary goaltender Jacques Plante, who was the first NHL goaltender to regularly wear a mask during games. Plante helped lead the Canadiens to five consecutive Stanley Cups from 1956 to 1960, and he won six Vezina Trophies as the NHL’s top goaltender during his career.
The Habs have also had some of the most iconic players in NHL history, including Maurice “Rocket” Richard, who was the first player to score 50 goals in a season and who won eight Stanley Cups with the Canadiens, and Patrick Roy, who won two Stanley Cups with the team and is widely considered one of the greatest goaltenders of all time.
The Founding of the Canadiens
In 1909, the Canadiens were founded by J. Ambrose O’Brien, who was also the owner of the National Hockey Association. The team played their first game on December 4, 1910, against the Cobalt Silver Kings, winning 7-The team was originally known as the Club Athlétique Canadien before adopting their current name. The team’s logo, a red, white, and blue C, was also adopted during this time.
The Montreal Canadiens’ Stanley Cup dominance in the 1950s is one of the most significant chapters in their storied history. Led by coach Toe Blake and superstar players like Maurice “Rocket” Richard, the Habs won an unprecedented five consecutive Stanley Cup championships from 1956-1960. During this era, the Canadiens established themselves as the most successful franchise in the NHL, a reputation that has continued to this day.
The Habs’ dominance in the 1950s was due in large part to their strong defense and goaltending. The legendary Jacques Plante was the team’s starting goaltender during this time, and his innovative style of play revolutionized the position. Additionally, the Canadiens had a talented group of defensemen, including Doug Harvey, who was known for his strong skating and playmaking abilities.
The Habs’ success in the 1950s helped establish a winning culture that has become synonymous with the franchise. The team’s commitment to excellence and dedication to winning has inspired generations of fans and players alike, and has cemented the Canadiens’ place as one of the most iconic sports teams in the world.
The Habs in the Modern Era: From Patrick Roy to Carey Price
Patrick Roy played for the Habs from 1985 to 1995, leading them to two Stanley Cup wins. Roy was known for his exceptional goaltending skills, and he earned many awards during his career.
Saku Koivu joined the Habs in 1995 and served as team captain from 1999 to 200Despite battling cancer, Koivu played for the Habs and became a beloved figure in Montreal.
Max Pacioretty served as team captain from 2015 to 2018, and he was a consistent goal scorer for the team. Pacioretty was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights in 2018.
Carey Price joined the Habs in 2007 and quickly established himself as one of the best goaltenders in the NHL. Price has won many awards during his career and led the Habs to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2021.
The Habs’ Rivalries
The Montreal Canadiens have been involved in many rivalries throughout their storied history. One of the biggest rivalries in NHL history is the one between the Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs. These two Original Six teams have faced each other countless times over the years, with each game being fiercely contested.
Another major rivalry for the Habs is the one with the Boston Bruins. This rivalry goes back to the 1920s and has been marked by many memorable moments, including the infamous bench-clearing brawl in 198The two teams have met in the playoffs numerous times, with the Canadiens holding a slight edge in the head-to-head matchups.
The Canadiens also have a heated rivalry with the Ottawa Senators, who were once part of the same city as the Habs. This rivalry has been reignited in recent years with the Senators becoming a strong team in the Eastern Conference. The two teams have had some memorable games and playoff matchups over the years.
The Battle of Quebec was a heated rivalry between the Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques, both based in the province of Quebec, Canada. The rivalry reached its peak during the 1980s when the two teams were in the same division and often faced each other in the playoffs.
The rivalry was fueled by many factors, including the linguistic and cultural differences between Quebec City and Montreal, as well as the competitive nature of the two teams. The rivalry was also notable for featuring many high-scoring games and several incidents of on-ice violence.
Although the Nordiques have since relocated to Colorado and become the Avalanche, the Battle of Quebec remains an important part of the Canadiens’ history and the history of hockey in Quebec.
The Original Six Rivalries: The Habs vs. the Leafs and Bruins
Original Six: The Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Boston Bruins were three of the six teams that made up the NHL from 1942 to 1967.
The Habs vs. the Leafs: The Canadiens and Maple Leafs have a long-standing rivalry that dates back to the early days of the NHL. The two teams have faced each other over 700 times and have met in the playoffs on numerous occasions.
The Habs vs. the Bruins: The Canadiens and Bruins also have a historic rivalry that spans over 90 years. The two teams have played against each other over 900 times and have met in the playoffs more than 30 times.
These rivalries have produced some of the most memorable moments in hockey history, including the 1971 Stanley Cup Final between the Canadiens and Blackhawks, and the 2011 Stanley Cup Final between the Bruins and Canucks.
The Most Iconic Habs Players
Maurice “Rocket” Richard: One of the greatest players in NHL history, Richard spent his entire 18-year career with the Canadiens. He won eight Stanley Cups and was the first player in NHL history to score 50 goals in a season.
Jean Béliveau: Known as “Le Gros Bill,” Béliveau was a dominant centerman for the Habs for 20 seasons. He won 10 Stanley Cups with the Canadiens and was a 10-time All-Star.
Patrick Roy: Roy was the backbone of the Canadiens’ Stanley Cup victories in 1986 and 1993, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP both times. He later won two more Stanley Cups with the Colorado Avalanche.
Henri Richard: Maurice Richard’s younger brother, Henri played 20 seasons with the Canadiens and won 11 Stanley Cups, more than any other player in NHL history. He was known for his speed and playmaking ability.
These are just a few of the many legendary players to have donned the Canadiens’ iconic red, white, and blue jersey. From Howie Morenz to Guy Lafleur to Carey Price, the Habs have a storied history filled with some of the greatest players to ever play the game.
Maurice “Rocket” Richard: The Face of the Franchise
Maurice “Rocket” Richard is widely considered to be the greatest player in Canadiens history. He played his entire 18-year career with the team and was the first player in NHL history to score 50 goals in one season. He led the team to eight Stanley Cup championships and was a 14-time All-Star.
Richard was not only an exceptional player on the ice, but he also represented the heart and soul of the Canadiens. His fierce competitiveness and determination made him a beloved figure in Montreal and earned him the nickname “Rocket”.
Off the ice, Richard was a symbol of Quebecois pride and a cultural icon in the province. His legendary status has endured long after his retirement, and his impact on the Canadiens and the city of Montreal will never be forgotten.
Richard’s number 9 jersey was retired by the Canadiens in 1960, making him the first player in NHL history to receive that honor. His legacy lives on as a source of inspiration for future generations of hockey players and fans alike.
Jean Beliveau: The Gentle Giant and Captain
Jean Beliveau was a legendary player and leader for the Montreal Canadiens, known for his skill on the ice and his humble and gracious nature off the ice. He played for the Habs for 20 seasons, from 1950 to 1971, and served as the team’s captain for 10 years. Beliveau was a prolific scorer, with 1,219 points in 1,125 regular-season games, and won the Stanley Cup 10 times with the Canadiens.
Beliveau was not just a great player, but a great ambassador for the game of hockey. He was respected by his teammates, opponents, and fans alike, and was known for his sportsmanship and integrity. After retiring as a player, he continued to work for the Canadiens organization in various roles, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.
Beliveau’s impact on the Canadiens and the game of hockey as a whole cannot be overstated. He remains one of the most beloved and respected figures in the history of the sport, and his legacy lives on through the Jean Beliveau Foundation, which supports children’s charities in Canada.
Patrick Roy: The Legendary Goaltender
Patrick Roy is widely regarded as one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history. He began his career with the Montreal Canadiens in 1985 and quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with. Roy was known for his incredible reflexes, agility, and fierce competitiveness on the ice. He led the Habs to two Stanley Cup championships in 1986 and 1993 and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs’ most valuable player both times.
After a highly publicized dispute with Canadiens head coach Mario Tremblay, Roy was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in 199He continued his success in Colorado, winning two more Stanley Cups in 1996 and 200Roy retired in 2003 with a list of impressive records, including the most playoff wins by a goaltender and the most Conn Smythe Trophies won.
Roy’s legacy lives on in Montreal, where he is still beloved by Habs fans for his incredible performances and his dedication to the team. In 2006, the Canadiens retired his jersey number 33 in honor of his contributions to the franchise.
The Habs’ Memorable Moments
Stanley Cup Dynasties: The Montreal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup a record 24 times, including five consecutive championships from 1956-1960 and four consecutive titles from 1976-197The team’s dominance during these dynasties cemented their place as one of the greatest franchises in NHL history.
The 1972 Summit Series: The 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union was a defining moment in hockey history. Six Montreal Canadiens players were on the Canadian team, including captain Phil Esposito, who famously rallied the crowd in Game The series culminated in Paul Henderson’s game-winning goal in Game 8, with the iconic call from commentator Foster Hewitt.
The Centennial Game: In 2009, the Canadiens celebrated their 100th anniversary with a game against the Boston Bruins. The outdoor game at the historic Fenway Park featured vintage jerseys and a pregame ceremony honoring past players. The Habs won the game 5-1, with Mike Cammalleri scoring two goals, including the first in the new year.
The Comeback of 1971: The Miracle on Manchester
The 1971 playoffs saw the Montreal Canadiens face off against the Los Angeles Kings in the first round. The Habs were heavily favored and won the first two games. However, the Kings won the next three games, putting the Canadiens on the brink of elimination.
Game 6 in Los Angeles saw the Canadiens fall behind 5-0 by the second period, but they refused to quit. They mounted a historic comeback, scoring five unanswered goals in the third period to force overtime. In the extra period, they completed the comeback with a goal from Claude Larose.
The victory was one of the greatest comebacks in NHL history and earned the team the nickname “The Cardiac Kids”. The Habs would go on to win the Stanley Cup that year, cementing their place in hockey history.
The 1993 Stanley Cup Win: 24th Championship and Last Cup for the Habs
In 1993, the Montreal Canadiens achieved their 24th Stanley Cup win, and it would be the last time the team would hoist the cup to date. Led by captain Guy Carbonneau, the Habs defeated the Los Angeles Kings in five games. The team was a true underdog, finishing third in the Adams Division and just making the playoffs as the 8th seed. But they quickly gained momentum, winning 10 consecutive playoff games.
The Stanley Cup final was a tough series, with each game decided by just one goal. In Game 2, the Canadiens suffered a heartbreaking loss in overtime, but they didn’t let it get them down. They bounced back and won the next three games, including the championship-clinching Game 5, in which Patrick Roy made 32 saves to secure the Cup.
The 1993 Cup win is memorable not just for being the team’s last, but also for the parade that followed. More than one million fans took to the streets of Montreal to celebrate, making it the largest parade in the city’s history. It was a fitting end to an incredible season for the Canadiens.
The Habs’ Home Arena: The Bell Centre
The Bell Centre is a world-renowned arena and the home of the Montreal Canadiens. Located in downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada, it first opened its doors in 1996 and has a seating capacity of 21,302.
The arena is named after its main sponsor, Bell Canada, and is often referred to as “The Bell”. It has been the home of the Habs since its opening, replacing the Montreal Forum, the team’s previous home.
The Bell Centre has hosted several notable events, including the NHL All-Star Game in 2009, the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and numerous concerts featuring top artists such as Celine Dion, Madonna, and U2.
One of the most unique features of the Bell Centre is its organ, which was installed in 200The 7,000-pipe instrument is played during Habs games by legendary organist Diane Bibeau, and has become a beloved part of the team’s game-day experience.
The Bell Centre also houses several restaurants, bars, and shops, including the Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame, which showcases the team’s rich history and numerous championship trophies.
The Construction of the Bell Centre and Its Features
Bell Centre: The Bell Centre, previously known as the Molson Centre, is a sports and entertainment complex located in the heart of downtown Montreal, Quebec.
Construction: The construction of the Bell Centre began in June 1993 and took three years to complete. The arena officially opened on March 16, 1996, and has been the home of the Canadiens ever since.
Features: The Bell Centre has a seating capacity of over 21,000 for hockey games and over 15,000 for concerts. It features state-of-the-art technology, including a high-definition video scoreboard, a sound system that is considered one of the best in North America, and an extensive lighting system.
Design: The Bell Centre’s design is unique, with two concourse levels, an open-air atrium, and a glass-walled restaurant overlooking downtown Montreal. It also has four levels of seating, including 90 luxury suites and 1,600 club seats.
Renovations: The Bell Centre has undergone several renovations since its opening, including the addition of a new press box, upgraded food and beverage concessions, and improvements to the seating areas. It remains one of the most iconic and beloved sports arenas in the world.
The Bell Centre Atmosphere: Why It’s One of the Best Arenas in the NHL
The Bell Centre, also known as the Centre Bell, is one of the most iconic arenas in the National Hockey League. The atmosphere inside the Bell Centre is one of the reasons why it’s considered one of the best arenas in the league. The stadium has a seating capacity of over 21,000, and the fans of the Montreal Canadiens are known to be some of the loudest and most passionate in the league.
Another factor that contributes to the incredible atmosphere inside the Bell Centre is the pre-game and intermission shows. The team’s pre-game light show is one of the most impressive in the league, and the intermission shows often feature live music and other entertainment. Additionally, the history and tradition of the Montreal Canadiens add to the excitement of the Bell Centre atmosphere.
The Bell Centre also has some unique features that make it stand out among NHL arenas. For example, the arena has a giant screen above the ice that displays game highlights, replays, and other visual content. Additionally, the stadium’s acoustics are designed to amplify crowd noise, making the already deafening roar of the Canadiens’ faithful even more impressive.
Overall, the Bell Centre’s atmosphere is a testament to the passion and dedication of Montreal Canadiens fans. Whether you’re a hockey fan or not, attending a game at the Bell Centre is an unforgettable experience.
The Bell Centre’s Iconic Moments: From Playoff Wins to Spectacular Goals
The Bell Centre has witnessed some of the most memorable moments in Montreal Canadiens history, including some incredible playoff victories and unforgettable goals. Here are just a few of the iconic moments that have taken place at the Bell Centre:
- Patrick Roy’s Final Game in Montreal: On December 2, 1995, Roy played his last game as a Hab at the Bell Centre, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd. Little did anyone know that it would be his last game in a Canadiens uniform.
- The 2010 Playoff Comeback: In the first round of the 2010 playoffs, the Canadiens found themselves down 3-1 in the series to the Washington Capitals. However, they managed to mount an incredible comeback, winning the next three games, including two at the Bell Centre, to advance to the second round.
- The “Kovalev Game”: On February 11, 2008, Alex Kovalev put on a show for the ages, scoring all four goals in the Canadiens’ 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins. It was a performance that will go down in Bell Centre history.
- The “Too Many Men” Game: In Game 7 of the 1979 Stanley Cup semifinals, the Bruins were called for too many men on the ice in the dying moments of the game, giving the Canadiens a power play. Yvon Lambert scored the game-winning goal with just over a minute left to play, sending the Bell Centre crowd into a frenzy.
- Max Pacioretty’s 100th Career Goal: On December 4, 2014, Max Pacioretty scored his 100th career goal in a game against the Detroit Red Wings. It was a milestone moment for the Canadiens captain and one that he’ll never forget.
These are just a few of the incredible moments that have taken place at the Bell Centre over the years. It’s no wonder that the arena has become one of the most beloved and iconic in the NHL.
The Habs’ Future: Prospects and Expectations
Prospects: The Canadiens have a strong prospect pipeline, with players like Cole Caufield, Alexander Romanov, and Ryan Poehling showing promise for the future.
Coaching: The team made a coaching change in 2021, bringing in Dominique Ducharme as the new head coach. Expectations are high for him to lead the team to success.
Free Agency: The Habs have several key players hitting free agency in the next few years, including Carey Price and Phillip Danault. It will be interesting to see how the team manages their contracts and keeps them in the organization.
Rebuilding: The Canadiens are in the midst of a rebuilding phase, and fans are hopeful that the team will emerge as a strong contender in the near future.
Expectations: Montreal is a city with high expectations for their hockey team, and fans are eager to see the Canadiens return to their winning ways. The team has a rich history and passionate fanbase, and the future looks bright for the iconic franchise.
The Habs’ Young Talent: Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Cole Caufield
Jesperi Kotkaniemi was the Habs’ first-round pick in 2018 and has been playing with the team since. He’s a talented center who has shown great potential and has impressed fans and coaches alike. In his rookie season, he played in 79 games, scoring 11 goals and 34 points.
Cole Caufield was the Habs’ first-round pick in 2019 and made his NHL debut in 202He’s known for his exceptional goal-scoring abilities and his quick release. In his first NHL game, he scored his first career goal, and he finished the season with 24 points in 30 games.
The Habs’ future looks bright with these two young players on the team. Both Kotkaniemi and Caufield have already shown that they have what it takes to be successful in the NHL, and fans are excited to see what they’ll do in the years to come.
The Habs’ Prospects: The Next Wave of Canadiens’ Players
As one of the most storied franchises in NHL history, the Montreal Canadiens are always looking to develop and promote their young prospects into the next generation of stars. Here are some of the top prospects in the Canadiens’ system:
- Mattias Norlinder: A skilled Swedish defenseman with excellent offensive instincts and a strong two-way game.
- Jayden Struble: A rugged, hard-hitting blueliner with a booming shot and great skating ability.
- Ryan Poehling: A former first-round pick who has already seen some NHL action, Poehling is a versatile forward with a great all-around game.
- Kaiden Guhle: The 16th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, Guhle is a hulking defenseman with excellent skating and puck-moving ability.
- Cole Caufield: The 15th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Caufield is a dynamic winger with an elite scoring touch and a knack for finding open ice.
The Canadiens have a long history of developing talent through their system, and these prospects are poised to continue that tradition. With a strong mix of skill, physicality, and character, they have the potential to become the next great players in Canadiens’ history.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the origin of the Habs hockey team?
The Habs hockey team, officially known as the Montreal Canadiens, was founded in 1909 and is one of the oldest and most storied franchises in the NHL. The team was founded by J. Ambrose O’Brien, a prominent businessman, and was originally called the Club de Hockey Canadien.
What is the Habs’ home arena?
The Habs play their home games at the Bell Centre, which is located in downtown Montreal. The arena has a seating capacity of over 21,000 and is known for its incredible atmosphere and passionate fans.
Who are some of the current stars on the Habs roster?
The Habs have a talented roster that includes players like goaltender Carey Price, defenseman Shea Weber, and forwards Jonathan Drouin and Tyler Toffoli. The team also has several promising young players, such as Cole Caufield and Jesperi Kotkaniemi.
What are the expectations for the Habs in the near future?
The Habs are looking to build on their recent success and compete for another Stanley Cup championship in the near future. The team has a solid core of players and a promising group of prospects, which bodes well for their chances of success in the years to come.
How do the Habs compare to other NHL teams?
The Habs are one of the most successful franchises in NHL history, with a storied tradition and a passionate fan base. While the team has had its ups and downs over the years, they are widely regarded as one of the league’s top teams and a perennial contender for the Stanley Cup.